How to Create Optimal Territories with Key Opinion Leaders and Patient Demographics
As the role of the Medical Science Liaison (MSL) has evolved from academic rigor to understanding disease trends, a key component of MSL territory planning is collaboration with Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs). From strategy development to clinical support, medical affairs teams must be able to leverage both patient demographics and top treaters in their territories for optimal success.
For MSLs, success often depends on understanding the latest data and identifying trends in disease indications, top treaters, and patient demographics. But what happens when knowledge gaps exist? In such cases, it is necessary to leverage knowledge from other thought leaders and key opinion leaders in order to help prepare MSLs for successful territory planning.
By understanding the KPIs, MSLs can anticipate any challenges they may face while planning their territories and build a truly insightful strategy to reach objectives efficiently. In this blog post, we’ll explore how MSL field teams can utilize data-driven decision-making in order to create effective territory plans that maximize resources and reach the right stakeholders.
1. Patient Demographics
When it comes to territory planning, the goal is to understand the patient population in a particular territory. This means collecting information that can help identify top treaters and patient demographics such as age, gender, and disease state breakdowns. With this data in hand, MSLs can develop focused plans for engagement with KOLs and other stakeholders.
In addition, exploring patient demographics provides valuable insights into prescribing patterns of top treaters that could impact strategic decisions. Using this information, MSLs can create an evidence-based approach to developing territories. With knowledge of indications and treatment preferences, MSLs have a better understanding of where to focus on key accounts in each territory based on patient needs.
For example, if the focus of a territory is on a specific age group or particular gender, MSLs should be able to engage with KOLs within the areas of interest in order to build relationships and increase awareness of their product or service.
2. Understand the Indication
The first step in any successful territory planning is to understand the disease indication. By researching current data, conducting interviews with KOLs, and attending conferences and meetings, MSLs can gain a better understanding of the diagnosis, treatment options, and the patient journey for the particular indications their team cares about.
In addition to demographic data collection, MSL teams should also consider trends around diseases that may affect their territories. By understanding what diseases are most prevalent in certain regions and asking questions about what treatments have been successful, MSLs can gain insight into how best to reach their targeted audience. Having an understanding of treatment pathways also helps MSLs create effective territory plans by taking into account common patterns of care for specific patient populations.
Leveraging this kind of knowledge allows MSL teams to tailor their approach when engaging with KOLs and ultimately guide them towards appropriate therapeutic solutions for patients.
For example, if a target audience consists mostly of elderly patients who require frequent monitoring and face mobility challenges, it is important for MSLs to consider locations that are accessible by public transportation or those with ample parking options for easy access.
Additionally, MSLs should prioritize accounts that have physicians who specialize in treating elderly patients and/or those with certain chronic conditions. This information can then be used along with geography when designing territories for maximum efficiency.
3. Map Your KOL Engagement Strategy
MSLs should also use KOL data to identify gaps in current education resources that may need additional attention when creating informational materials such as slideshows or brochures for physicians and other healthcare providers. By having an up-to-date understanding of clinical practice guidelines, MSLs can ensure they are providing accurate information that physicians find useful during conversations with patients about treatments options available for specific indications. This helps strengthen relationships between medical professionals and patients while building trust within respective communities which ultimately leads to improved health outcomes.
For more information on how to visualize territories for your field MSL team, request a demo.